Responsibility Assignment Matrix: Definition & Example

Instructor: Stacey Perritt

Stacey is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and Scrum Master and earned her Master's degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

The Responsibility Assignment Matrix, also known as a Responsibility Accountability Matrix or RACI matrix is a key component of completing a project successfully. It identifies the role each person plays and what they are accountable for.

Let's Party!

During the stages of any project there are usually several players coordinating efforts to make the project a success. Let's say that several of us are coordinating a party for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary. We want to invite Mom and Dad's many friends, their neighbors, former co-workers and extended family. My brother, Scott, and I are coordinating most of the details. Thankfully my son, Joe, is also able to help. We need to find a place to host the event, perhaps the fancy restaurant they dined at before their senior prom. That takes care of the venue and food. There are flowers to order and be delivered. Mom will be thrilled that band we hire specializes in hits from the 1960's and dad will love that the cake is his favorite: coconut with butter rum icing.

Who Will Do What? The Responsibility Assignment Matrix

There are many details to be handled to make our celebration a success. Below you will see that I have created a Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAM) which lists tasks in the first column and our stakeholders across the top row. Stakeholders are people who are affected by or involved in a project. A RAM is also known as a RACI chart or RACI matrix. RACI most typically stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed. Stakeholders play different roles during a project, which can be broken into the following levels of accountability:

Responsible: This person is responsible for completing the efforts required for a task. There can be several people responsible for a task, and they report to the one who is accountable.

Accountable: This person is ultimately accountable for coordinating the efforts to complete this task. There is only one person accountable for each task and s/he delegates to others who are responsible.

Consulted: This person's knowledge and expertise is beneficial to completing a task successfully, but they are not performing the task directly.

Informed: This person must only be made aware of or apprised of the task as part of its successful completion.

Ram_Example

In our example above, I am accountable for coordinating the details of restaurant and flowers. The restaurant manager is responsible for many details, such as having reserved the date we've agreed upon and having the appropriate staff for the party. The florist is responsible for preparing and delivering the flowers I have ordered. You can also see that the restaurant manager will be consulted regards the flowers - perhaps there is only space for table centerpieces and two large arrangements by the entrance. Similarly, Joe is ultimately accountable for choosing, hiring, and confirming the band. The restaurant manager must be consulted about where the band can set up, electrical outlets, etc. and the band is responsible for arriving on time, performing, etc.

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